Aizawl: One of the most commendable traits of Mizo society is altruism. It is customary that if someone drowns in a river or is lost, the whole community will embark on a seven-day search to recover the body.
So, when 53-year-old C Lalfakzuala reportedly drowned in the Tlawng river over a week ago, the whole community in Sairang town of Aizawl district came together to search for the victim.
On July 11, Lalfakzuala and his two friends were rowing against the rough Tlawng river on a bamboo raft when it broke apart. While his friends swam to safety, Lalfakzuala was not so lucky.
As the Tlawng river passes through Sairang locality, the local branch of Young Mizo Association (YMA) was immediately informed of the situation. After that the Central YMA (CYMA) was informed and they immediately arranged for a search party.
Central YMA vice-president R Lalngheta said, “As soon as the CYMA was informed about the accident, we reached the spot. But due to heavy rains, the current was extremely strong.”
He added that they then informed the state government which supplied them with necessary equipment to search for the drowing vicitm.
Over Rs 1 lakh were donated by ministers and other individuals to assist the search parties.
Volunteers from 55 different branches of YMA searched day and night for a week. Different search parties were placed at eight critical places. Though the volunteers tirelessly searched for the body, luck was not on their side.
On the eighth day, a function was held that marked the end of the customary practice of the community search.
Speaking at the function, the brother of the drowned man, Dr Lalzirliana, thanked everyone for their tireless efforts. It was a sad sight when Lalfakzuala’s three children gracefully came and stood up in front of the large crowd that came to offer their condolences.
R Lalngheta added, “Though the community search is over, relatives and friends of Lalfakzuala will continue to look for the body.”